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Articles / Applying to College / Transfer Timeline for Pre-Med Student

Sept. 19, 2011

Transfer Timeline for Pre-Med Student

Question: I am trying to transfer from BU. I'm on the pre-med track and, through the College of General Studies program I am in now, it would take me 6 years to graduate. At what time do I send my applications to other schools to transfer? Thanks

You don’t say whether or not this is your first semester at Boston University, and that’s a critical point.


All colleges list their transfer-application due dates on their Web sites. Although it can sometimes be a bit of a treasure hunt to find them, they’re typically not too hard to track down. You will also observe that there may be several transfer deadlines, depending on the term you plan to enter … Fall, Spring (usually “Spring” means a January or February start), or even Summer (which not all schools will offer).

BUT … if you’re current a freshman, it means that you may not be eligible for Spring-semester admission at some colleges. And, even if you are, you may not be wise to apply to transfer so soon. Your transfer chances at many colleges and universities will be best if you have at least one semester of college grades on your transcript and, ideally, two or more. A year or more of college grades will expand your transfer options. If you jump ship too early, your transfer schools will probably be limited to only those that would have accepted you out of high school. If that’s fine with you—and you are really eager to leave B.U.—then you can apply as soon as possible. But, in most cases, it makes sense to transfer no sooner than the fall of sophomore year. B.U.'s CGS credits will transfer just like any other college's credits will (assuming you have earned a "C" or better in the class..)

If you are looking for financial aid, be sure to check Web sites to make sure that there is aid available for transfers in the term to which you plan to apply. Note also that financial-aid application deadlines may not be the same as admission deadlines. So plan accordingly.

Good luck to you as you chart your new path.

(posted 9/19/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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